Have you ever walked into a place and cursed décor, or gave up decorating at your own place, because all the pretty pillows on the couch didn’t leave any room for you to sit? Or the coffee table décor that was in the way of the TV and you had to move it in order to watch your favourite tb show? Frustrating, right? Don’t worry, you’re not crazy and you’re not the only one who thinks so!

One of my pet peeves is décor that is not functional! What’s the point of having a bed full of pillows that is fit for a queen, if there’s no room to sleep in it without throwing all those pillows on the floor? Or having to move that flower pot off the table every time you want to eat? It’s a recipe for disaster, because at some point you just give up and have permanant pillows on your floor or you end up with a house that lacks décor and character. Fortunately there is a way to have décor that is both nice and functional. Here are 5 things to take into account the next time you are buying décor items for your home or changing things around a bit:

Functional Décor Tip #1: Controlling pillows

  • Pillows, pillows, pillows. They can both be nice and annoying! I’m really not a big fan of sleeping with 5-10 decorative pillows (I just need 1), but they do add a nice touch of décor so I wouldn’t go without them either.
  • Storage Basket: I like having a decorative basket near my bed or couch so that I can throw the pillows in there when they get in the way. It looks nicer then throwing them on the floor and it’s much more functional then wrestling with them for a corner of the couch ;).
  • Use less: No bed should have more then 5 pillows on it. Having more then that just increases their inconvenience 10 fold. For your sofa or couch it really depends on the size, but again, more then 5 tends to get excessive.

Functional Décor Tip #2: Don’t block the view

  • Avoid putting tall items such as a flower vase on the kitchen table of coffee table. Think clear line of view! Unless of course, you really don’t want to make conversation with the person across the table ;).
  • Use low or short items instead of tall ones. Think bowls and trays. Also choose shorter candles instead of tall ones.
  • Having all of your items in a decorative tray makes it easy to move around if need be and without having to re-arrange all the pieces in your center piece décor. I really like this one here: Couleur Nature Marble Round Tray

Functional Décor Tip #3: Don’t burst the personal bubble

  • You should be able to comfortably move around, perform activities, and rest in your home. This measurement chart is super handy and lets you know exactly how much room you should leave around furniture in inches (and millimetres).

Interior Design Illustrated – Francis Ching

Functional Décor Tip #4: Light please

  • Most rooms could use more lighting (that is functional).
  • In the living room look at where you sit and what activity you perform. If there is a certain chair you like to read in make sure there is a floor or table lamp in that corner that gives you enough illumination.
  • In the kitchen, lights can be added underneath the upper cabinets so that you can see better while at the counter top.
  • Next check your home office or desk as this is another place where light tends to lack.
  • Make sure when selecting and placing lighting that the switch will be conveniently located. You should not have to reach behind the side table to turn on the floor lamp.

Functional Décor Tip #5: Choose materials that are easy to upkeep

  • It’s a pain to have to re-finish your hard wood floors every few years, or seal your counter top, or re-upholster chairs. Always go for materials that are durable and easy to upkeep, especially if you have kids or pets at home.
  • Sometimes it’s tempting to go for the cheaper furniture because you’ll think you’ll replace it in a couple of years but it rarely pays off!
  • Do be aware that more expensive materials can require some more love and care though (hard wood floors for example).

Leave me a comment and let me know what you find least functional with décor! Is there something that makes you tick or annoys you with décor items?

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